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June 2010


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Rare Bird Alert <[log in to unmask]>
Bob Ekblad <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 13 Jun 2010 04:05:47 -0600
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Bob Ekblad <[log in to unmask]>
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Acadian Flycatchers have been located in Olmsted County at a Forestry
Management Unit south of Marion.  Marion is located on Highway 52 just south
of the intersection of I90.  To get to the management unit, go a short
distance south of Marion on Hwy 52 and turn right(west) on Cty 16 and then
turn to the left on Cty 116.  Follow that road as it goes east and then
south and then turn east on Stagecoach Road which is a dead end road.  At
the end of the road make a sharp right into the Bill Barnacle FMU.
Partridge Creek flows through the unit as it winds its way a short distance
to the Root River.  You can park at the first parking lot on the right and
take a long walk to the south along the road that goes through a stream and
then makes a turn to the west and up a hill.  If you have a high clearance
vehicle you can drive through the stream (a foot deep or more) and continue
on up to the top of the hill where there is area for a few cars to park (but
do not block the gate).  Take the path past the gate for about .6 to .7
miles to the location where you can hear the Acadian calling.  The path goes
up the hill and makes a bend to the right and then continues south on a
relatively gentle slope for the remainder of the walk.  You will pass a
couple of paths to the left and then one to the right.  At a second path to
the right (about .2mi past the first path to the right) is right near where
one of the birds was calling.  At this location the path gets fairly close
to a planted cornfield to the east.  Some people have wandered around the
paths in the area and have located one or two additional birds calling.  In
addition to the flycatcher there are Scarlet Tanagers, Wood Thrush and also
Veery calling.  It is unusual to find Veery in the county at this stage in
the migration/nesting season.  The Veery has been heard right near the gate
and also about half way to the location where the flycatcher is being heard.


The status of Acadian Flycatchers in Olmsted County is only accidental.  To
my knowledge, the last one seen in the county by birders was back in 1984.
DNR observers apparently located the flycatcher in this area back in 2000.
This area with extensive high closed canopy and open understory is fairly
unique in the county.  Be aware that this area is used by some people riding
BMX bicycles.


The Lark Sparrow is another species that can be hard to find in the county.
There have been some areas of land that have been opened up to access by new
housing developments (north of Rochester along Highway 63) where Lark
Sparrows have been found.  Take Hwy 63 north from Rochester to 48th St and
turn right(east).  A short distance down the road turn left(north) into a
small housing development, called Hadley Creek, where there are a couple of
tall green flags.  The Lark Sparrows and also Grasshopper Sparrow (often
between lots 8 & 14) have been seen along this fairly short dead end road.
The Lark Sparrows were also seen from the parking lot of the former golf
center building next to 48th St.  Another probably more reliable location is
found by going south on the minimum maintenance road right across from the
Hadley Creek location.  The road turns to the west and then passes a road to
the left as it enters another new housing development.  You can hear
Clay-colored and Field Sparrows calling from that area as you pass through
to the first houses along this road.  The best spots to find Lark Sparrows
are between the green house on the right and the blue house on the left and
also at the end of the road by the water tower/tank. 


Bob Ekblad
Olmsted County in SE Minnesota


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